5 Ways to Make Military Families' Holidays Shine Brighter

american flagThe thing about the holiday season that really gets me all verklempt isn't the presents or the scent of pine. It's the people. Thanksgiving is three days away, and we're about to dive headlong into the one time of year when people start acting like they care about each other again. Now how about saving a few of those glad tidings and some good cheer for a group who could really use the love? Our nation's military families.

Hey, they sacrifice for our well-being all year round. No wonder this month is Military Family Appreciation Month. I can't think of anyone better to get it back for the holidays. Especially when you consider at least half of middle-class military families report their holiday plans are taking a major hit from the economy. If you want to give back to those who give the most, here are a few options to consider:

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Send a Holiday Package to a Soldier: You don't have to have a soldier in the family; groups like Any Soldier will connect your thoughtful holiday gifts with a guy or gal serving us overseas. Best of all, they provide a list of what our troops really need, the stuff that they shouldn't have to spend their paychecks on in order to be comfortable.

Get Your Company Involved: The Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit dedicated to helping those hurt serving our country get back on their feet, depends on companies to sponsor employee-giving drives during the holiday season to provide these men and women with services.

Thank a Veteran: Just because they've been discharged doesn't mean our gratitude is done. Remind a veteran that he or she is not forgotten with a visit to one of the veterans' hospitals. Bring the kids, plan some caroling, anything to brighten the day. The Veterans Administration can help direct you to a veterans organization that can use your help.

Become an Elf for Military Kid: While mom or dad are overseas, these kids could use an extra visit from Santa. The USO can make it happen -- with your help of course. Get a wish list and hit the stores.

Sponsor a Family's Hotel Stay: Getting the fam together always means a lot, but it's extra special if you're home for just a few days. Help cover the cost of a soldier's family's visit so they can take advantage of that precious time.

Do you know a member of our armed forces? How will you be taking part in their holiday?

 

Image via kodismom/Flickr

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